-And then she was asked, “Do you mind doing a few boudoir shots for me?” She wasn’t acquainted with the term yet. She looked up the dictionary app on her phone. It said – A woman’s private sitting room, dressing room or bedroom. She asked herself, ‘How would it feel to peel off my clothing in front of a stranger?’
Women feel more vulnerable while undressing in a casual togetherness in front of each other than men do. Not only do we judge each other’s coated bodies in layers of corsets and tummy tuckers, but we also have a very critical viewpoint of our own bodies. Turkish baths and group showers wouldn’t have been so uncomfortable if only we could strip off the negative body image. This term, body image, was first coined by Paul Schilder, an Austrian neurologist and psychologist. It means “a person’s perspective of the aesthetic or sexual attractiveness of their own body”. India has celebrated nudity since ancient times. Today, not only are we attacking artists for indulging in nudity and but also inviting earthquakes while dressing as a woman.
Your past experiences and not being able to meet the societal ideal of the perfect body can crash down your body image. Charles Cooley called this syndrome as the ‘looking glass self’ or the reflected self-image is a ‘social self’ per se.
-Then came the day of her photo shoot. She went to the studio fully clothed. None of that was needed anyway. She stripped away every bit of clothing slowly. “Everything.”, said the photographer, again.
In a confession, in Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’, a woman writes about how her husband’s demand to shave off her pubic hair and her refusal to do so, took them to the courtroom. The counsellor suggested to the woman that she should ‘please her husband’ and explained how it was her duty to fulfil his needs. She did so. But her husband found pleasure elsewhere regardless.
As a social convention, scars are considered to be marks of courage and masculinity on a man, whilst they are marks of ugliness on females. The caesarean incision on a woman is a mark of courage without violence. Looking at a body full of scars is like entering a deserted room full of personal stories. I fell in love with that woman who hugs her protruding stomach like a second skin and loves sunbathing despite her sagging assets. If you thought media was the main culprit, I wouldn’t disagree. But my lingerie shop owner did a better job by emphasizing the fact that I needed to buy a corset to hide the extra inches in my belly. All those gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan diets don’t help you in anyway to uplift your body image. The images of that “Complete Woman” in woman’s magazines, the one who has it all, just keep getting more perfect each day. We start driving ourselves towards anorexic and bulimic tendencies. We develop body dysmorphic disorder- “an obsessive preoccupation to some aspect of one’s own appearance as severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.”
Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham documents how her mother started the journey of tracing the changes in her naked body. That woman indulged in her passion to explore how her unshaved armpit looks with a flower pot in the background or how green boots complimented her pubic hair. But it remained her private experiment.
-While removing the last piece of clothing in front of her photographer, all she felt was, freedom.
Let’s love our bodies. Shamelessly. Guiltlessly. Nakedly…